Carrick Rovers 13's CMUL Premier side recorded their 1st victory of the season on Saturday afternoon when they overcame the tough resistance of our neighbours Blayney Rovers on the Astro in Monaghan. Carrick started sharply and should have been 1 up after 6 minutes when Robert McCloskey won possession and slide Tadg Callaghan in behind the Blayney defence but his angled shot across the keeper just missed the far post. Rovers settled well and the midfield trio of McCloskey, Jared Wenham and Dillon Carolan were pressing the Blayney defence into giving up possession and with Dylan McCahey and Bendera on the wings they had a great out ball. Blayney began to grow into the game and the Carrick defence of Cathal O'Rourke, Cian Maher, Liam Og Murray and Eoghan Duffy had their work cut out to keep the pacy Blayney forwards at bay.
On 20 minutes Carrick broke the dead-lock when Wenham and Carolan combined to win the ball in midfield before Wenham found McCahey on the left and the tricky winger cut inside before feeding Callaghan who drove into the Blayney area. He got his head up to see the keeper racing of his line and he slipped the ball passed him and as he tried to pick up the ball the Blayney keeper caught his foot to take him down. Callaghan stood over the ball but his well struck shot was saved brilliantly by the Blayney stopper. Callaghan did what all good strikers should do and followed up his effort to coolly place the rebound into the corner. Rovers did what all teams should watch out for after scoring by conceding straight away. This time the home team won a corner and after the ball was cleared at first the ball was returned into the Rovers area where a Rovers defender was harshly penalised for a hand ball. The Blayney player calmly slotted the spot kick passed Adam Garvey in the Carrick goal. This didn't deter Rovers from playing some fantastic flowing football. Tiernan O'Riordan and Oisin O'Hanlon were introduced for O'Rourke and Carolan and slotted into the system straight away. Bendera and McCahey were causing the Blayney defence all sorts of trouble and after some good work by Wenham, the ball was sprayed out to Bendera who picked out O'Hanlon's forward run perfectly. O'Hanlon burst into the area and as the keeper came out smartly to close him down he outrageously lifted the ball over him and into the net.
Half-time Blayney Rovers 1-2 Carrick Rovers
This Carrck side had been in this situation not too long ago had had let a 2 goal half time lead slip but they are learning quickly and had no intention of doing the same again. They set about playing the same high intensity football as the 1st half. The reintroduced Carolan thought he had added to Rovers lead only to be flagged offside but within 2 minutes Carrick had a much deserved goal as O'Hanlon picked up possession 10 yards from the Blayney box and drove forward. He dinked his way passed 2 defenders before stroking the ball low into the bottom corner. Blayney to their credit didn't drop their heads and came back at Carrick. Murray and Maher were having a great contest with the Blayney forwards with Murray turning defence into attack at every opportunity and Maher, O'Riordan and Duffy covering any gaps at the back. Blayney got themselves back into the game with 5 minutes to go from a free kick and this made for a nervous ending but Carrick held out for a determined and hard fought win.
Full Time Blayney Rovers 2-3 Carrick Rovers
Team: Adam Garvey, Cathal O'Rourke, Liam Og Murray, Cian Maher, Eoghan Duffy, Benderas, Dillon Carolan, Jared Wenham, Robert McCloskey, Dylan McCahey, Tadg Callaghan, Tiernan O'Riordan, Oisin O'Hanlon, Rhys Jones and Paul McEntaggart.